Updated 

Police: Suspect arrested in apartment complex fire targeted ex-girlfriend


When Salvador Hernandez was detained by officers, he had one question for them: “You are not going to show me her body?”

A Las Vegas police report said those were Hernandez’s words after a large building fire at the Sonoma Shadows apartments, 1750 E. Karen Ave., near Maryland Parkway and Sahara Avenue, caused $400,000 worth of damage.

Hernandez, 33, was arrested Sunday on allegations of arson and two counts of attempted murder.

No one died in the fire. The report said county prosecutors are considering filing 15 attempted murder charges, a charge for every person who lived in an apartment that was burned.

The target of Hernandez’s wrath was his ex-girlfriend, authorities said. The report said she and her 16-year-old son escaped the blaze after they saw flames on their patio.

The ex-girlfriend said the fire was preceded by knocking at her door and ringing of her doorbell. She heard Hernandez’s voice but ignored it.

The woman told investigators that two weeks ago, Hernandez broke into her apartment with an ax. He was arrested and accused of threatening to kill her.

She told police she had a no-contact order issued by the court against Hernandez.

The report said the woman said he was released from jail Feb. 5.

She had been ignoring Hernandez’s phone calls and telling him she was out of town so he wouldn’t show up at her place.

After the fire, a neighbor of the woman who knew her and of her troubled past with Hernandez saw him walking on Sahara. The woman told Hernandez his ex-girlfriend’s apartment “was gone.” He began to fake cry, the report said.

When police caught up with Hernandez, the report said, he made spontaneous utterances like “It looked bigger,” presumably referring to the fire.

He also said: “If someone dies in the fire, God help me,” the report said.

An empty matchbook and a lighter were found in his possession. The items were seized by county fire personnel as evidence.

Contact reporter Antonio Planas at aplanas@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638.

 

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